South African visual artist Sylvester Zanoxolo Mqeku

Sylvester Zanoxolo Mqeku

South Africa | 2 artworks for sale

  • Carbon Generations (triptych) - Sand-Cast Ceramic by Sylvester Zanoxolo Mqeku Carbon Generations (triptych)
    Sand-Cast Ceramic / 30 x 10 cm
    R10 000
  • Nidoviral 25 (diptych) - Sand-Cast Ceramic by Sylvester Zanoxolo Mqeku Nidoviral 25 (diptych)
    Sand-Cast Ceramic / 21 x 15 cm
    R12 000
  • Manganese Particles (diptych) - Sand-Cast Ceramic by Sylvester Zanoxolo Mqeku
    Manganese Particles (diptych)
    Sand-Cast Ceramic / 18 x 15 cm
My process is a demonstration of an artistic practice which is highly innovative and promotes the use of 100% recyclable material (Sand). Much like playing at the beach sand as a natural material lends itself to expression, connecting the maker’s mind and body to the earth, its ability to withstand endless cycles of being shaped, formed and crumbled many times over.

Negative shapes are carved out of damp fine sand and liquid clay is cast inside them, after a few days the dried clay is dug out of the sand revealing an incredibly textured vessel form, , the exterior surfaces are coarse and entirely defined by the texture of sand, any mark or imprint that was made is now tangible and seemingly aged or weathered.
The work I create using this process astonishes me exceedingly because every excavated artefact is unique and impossible to replicate. The sculptural formation is then decorated with assorted metal oxides and Ceramic glazes. Artworks made using this process, often resemble objects dug up from another planet, tectonic life forms that appear fossilized or frozen in some post-biotic condition.

Mqeku was born in Mount Fletcher a small town on the edges of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Mqeku began tertiary education at the NMU, Port Elizabeth with background of Art and design and Architectural Technology. He then completed two years of introductory art and design studies, this qualification comprised of Painting, Graphic Design, Photography, Sculpture, Ceramic Design, Drawing and Art Theory. In April 2013, after graduating with a diploma in Ceramic Design, he moved to Bloemfontein and began volunteer work at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, later Mqeku was permanently employed at this Museum. From 2014 Sylvester Mqeku ventured on a project with VANSA, resigning from the Museum and enrolling at TUT Pretoria where he graduated with Ceramics practice and research methods a B-Tech in Fine Art in 2016. At this point Mqeku has been enrolled for an M-tech in design and studio art and the CUT Bloemfontein, while there Mqeku has engaged his recyclable ceramic process in public arts practice in partnership with Goethe Institute Johannesburg, with this process he has also taken up international artist reseidencies including the inagural Blackrock Senegal.